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Today in Korean history

Today in Korean History 14:00 April 19, 2023

April 20

1906 -- The Korean Empire, as the country was called in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, starts construction of its first paved road, called "sinjangno" (newly built road), over the 30 kilometers between Jeonju and Gunsan, North Jeolla Province. The new road replaced twisting rural byways.

1949 -- John J. Muccio, the first U.S. ambassador to South Korea, takes office in Seoul.

1978 -- A Korean Air passenger flight is forced by the Soviet Union's air force to land on a frozen lake in Murmansk, near the Arctic Circle, after deviating from its flight path. Two people were killed and 13 injured in the emergency landing.

1981 -- The National Assembly holds its first ceremony to celebrate the day of the physically challenged.

1985 -- Seoul's fourth subway line starts operations.

1997 -- Hwang Jang-yop, a former aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, arrives in Seoul from the Philippines. He had defected from North Korea earlier in the year and stayed in Beijing before coming to Seoul.

2009 -- A Seoul court acquits a controversial online South Korean pundit known by his internet alias Minerva. He was indicted on charges of spreading misleading information on the country's monetary policy.

2012 -- President Lee Myung-bak urges North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to give up the collective farm system and privatize state-owned agricultural land to help enrich the North and its residents.

2018 -- South Korea and North Korea set up a telephone line between their leaders, enabling direct dialogue between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

2019 -- Kim Hong-il, a three-term lawmaker and the eldest son of former South Korean President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Kim Dae-jung, dies at the age of 71.

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